OMG it FINALLY feels like springtime here in N.Y.C.! Yesssss! That means I’ve officially retired my parka for the season, have resumed stealing my boyfriend’s hoodie as outerwear, and am now salivating over salads instead of the soups and stews that got me through the colder months.
Truth be told, I wasn’t always a salad person. I was one of those vegetarians who basically lived on different iterations of starch and cheese. And then when I went vegan, I moved heaven and earth in search of the most succulent veggie meat sandwiches. But lately, factors like health and vitality and wanting to feel my best have been nudging me towards the raw, the green, the leafy, and the salad-y. And exciting recipes like the one for this AMAZING Apple Beet Salad with Lemon Tamari Vinaigrette, Baked Hazelnut Cheese, and Sesame Mustard from the new cookbook Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen by Mérida Anderson are making my salad days feel like a celebration instead of a chore. Don’t let the picture fool you. Anderson may be all about plating this flavorful dish as a delicate appetizer, but when I make it, it’s a big ol’ pile of yum. However you decide to eat it, you’ll be glad you did!
Apple Beet Salad with Lemon
1 garlic clove, finely diced or crushed
1 tsp finely diced shallot
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil
2 medium beets, grated or julienned
2 green apples, grated or julienned
In a food processor or blender, blend all ingredients except beets and apples, until emulsified. In a bowl, toss apples and beets together with vinaigrette. Marinate for at least 30 minutes in refrigerator.
Baked Hazelnut Cheese
1 cup (250 mL) hazelnuts, soaked in 1 tbsp miso and
2 cups (500 mL) water overnight (reserve liquid)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1 garlic clove
Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
Drain hazelnuts, reserving soaking liquid. In a food processor or blender, purée hazelnuts with remainder of ingredients. Add reserved soaking liquid if mix is too dry. Blend until it just comes together, like an extremely wet dough. On a lightly oiled baking sheet, crumble or drop the cheese in small chunks and bake for 10 minutes, until firm to the touch and slightly golden.
Makes 1 cup.
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp tamari
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp grated fresh ginger (optional)
⅓ cup (80 mL) olive oil
2 tbsp water
In a food processor or blender, purée all ingredients until smooth.
Makes ½ cup.
About 3–4 cups mixed greens, enough for 5 people.
Place a small amount of mixed greens on a plate. Top with about ⅓ cup (80 mL) apples and beets. Spoon Sesame Mustard around perimeter of plate and sprinkle Hazelnut Cheese over apples and beets.
• Makes 5 servings.
Reprinted from Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen by Mérida Anderson. Copyright © 2013. Used with permission from Arsenal Pulp Press.
Emily Rems is a feminist writer, editor, rock star, playwright, and occasional plus-size model living in New York’s East Village. Best known as managing editor of BUST magazine, Emily is also a music and film commentator for New York’s NPR affiliate WNYC, and is the drummer for the horror-punk band the Grasshoppers. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the anthologies Cassette from my Ex and Zinester’s Guide to NYC, and her short stories have been published in Rum Punch Press, Lumen, Prose ‘N Cons Mystery Magazine, Writing Raw, and PoemMemoirStory. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for fiction in 2015 and is working on a novel. Follow her on Twitter @emilyrems.